Nyagatare Dairy Marketing Cooperative (NDMC) buys raw milk from smallholder farmers and processes it into various milk products such as yogurt and fermented milk for human consumption. The cooperative also plans to introduce an animal feed production plant and financial services, e.g., Farmers’ savings and credit facilities “SACCO” to further support its farmers’ activities.
In recent years, Rwanda has transformed from subsistence to commercial farming, resulting in a high number of improved livestock breeds and increased milk production. However, the raw milk market and milk processing facilities are inadequate and result in low-income for farmers from farming activities. Furthermore, improved animal feeds are scarce and expensive, resulting in high production costs compared to the price of raw milk. In addition, farmers’ access to finance is insufficient and not easily accessed, which results in a lack of operational and working capital. The management of NDMC, in collaboration with local authorities, initiated the activities of milk processing (i.e., yogurt and fermented milk), animal feed processing, and farmers’ SACCO to address these challenges.